WednesdayWisdoms: Being Alone

I think a lot of the reason why we dive into unhealthy behaviors is because we’re afraid of being alone. It can be terrifying to be by ourselves and faced with our truths, so we run in a myriad of ways.

When I started this blog and publicly dove into the depths of my mind, I was all alone swimming in a scary pool of self doubt. But I needed to explore the depths before going back to the surface. It cleansed me.

So for this weeks practice, I want you to be alone. Read a book, write in a journal, do a yoga session, make jewelry, read your own tarot cards, do arts and crafts, take a bath, literally ANY hobby. But do it without distraction. Not with a glass of wine. Not while the TV is on. Not with a huge bag of chips or candy.

Go on a date with yourself and see what you find. What is intriguing in your mind? Do you find that inner critic coming up? Can you follow the advice from last Wednesday to quiet it?

Spend at least an hour doing this solitary activity, and then, when you are done, write down how you feel. Write down what you learned. Make concrete observations and force yourself into self awareness.

The more you practice this, the more you will learn to appreciate yourself. You will open up a Pandora’s Box of creativity, but maybe not until you flush out some monsters. This exercise, over time, will increase your confidence because YOU will know YOU inside and out.

It might be scary at first, and if it is, write it down. Write down why. Show yourself some compassion for being scared. It takes courage to face your truth.

So get out of your comfort space, get alone, and stay witchy ( *)

Idle Hands

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The Knight of Wands is impatient and impulsive in his pursuit of creativity.  He needs balance. My mother would probably say he has idle hands, because she used to always say that about me. This was her reasoning for why I always got into trouble. You know what they say, the Devil finds work for idle hands.

A combination of boredom, depression, and lack of boundaries made up the Devil in this scenario. Without a healthy range of hobbies and interests, I used all my energy in destructive behavior. When I was a child I had a multitude of interests, from writing stories and directing short movies with my sister, to playing concert piano and writing minuets. But all of that tends to fall away when you shift focus to unhealthy practices.

Being a teenager is a pretty difficult journey. Our bodies are changing and what used to be important to us are now on the back-burner to boys and popularity. And when you have no basis of self love or compassion, your idle hands start taking control. There is no moderation, and normal teenage hi-jinks turn into scary and real problems.

When I got older, after getting clean, I had no projects I was passionate about. I couldn’t play piano anymore, except for the first few bars of Fur Elise (which no one was really happy about,) and I had nothing that filled up my emptiness. I dabbled in my fashion and jewelry design but it didn’t hold my focus. It wasn’t something I woke up in the morning excited to do. It just wasn’t as important to me as going out and drinking. So my idle hands kept taking control.

What has happened for me now, though, is that my world is bigger and brighter. With the discovery of self compassion and self love, my idle hands have grown a sort of rigor mortis and  don’t dance about as freely as they used to. Instead, they are kept at bay with a multitude of inspiring hobbies and projects that I wake up in the morning gleaming at the thought of accomplishing.

The point is, the hobbies weren’t the problem. The problem existed in that my world was too small for joy. My emptiness could only be filled up with my own light, and I had to find it first. I think it is normal for addicts to go through this change. When the thing that made you feel good and took up most of your time is gone, you’re back to square one. And until you find self love, you’re just going to keep practicing the same addictive habits with different substances, or even with the healthy interests you’re trying to replace the drug of choice with. Replacement doesn’t work. Nothing is going to work until you have self respect and self compassion.

Hobbies are wonderful, and they are awesome and healthy tools in self help. But if you don’t have the passion for them, they become to feel mundane and more like a chore. You don’t want to just plug along and endure, you want to flourish. If you have too much passion for them they can take as much control of your life as a drug would. Keep yourself full and happy by picking things that truly inspire you, that can help you find your light, and that can be an accent to your life, rather than the entirety of it. Stay passionate, stay balanced, and stay witchy ( *)